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Can a Felon Become a Real Estate Agent in Utah?

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Becoming a real estate agent can be a lucrative and stable career in Utah, but the first step to such a successful career is obtaining a real estate license in your desired location. Having a felony record can serve as a roadblock on this journey, but may not be a complete bar to the profession in certain jurisdictions. 

This blog is not legal advice, but instead outlines general state requirements for people with felonies to better understand how to receive a real estate broker license. The question this blog aims to answer is whether persons with felonies can obtain a real estate license in Utah. 

  • Role of real estate agent 
  • Average salary 
  • General requirements to be a real estate agent in America 
  • State specific requirements  
  • Recommended action 

Role of a estate agent: 

Real estate agents facilitate the buying and selling of commercial and personal properties. When working with a seller, a real estate agent may be referred to a listing agent. As a listing agent, the typical duties can include: 

  • Conducting market research to determine an ideal asking price;
  • Identifying assets that are the property’s attractive magnets and pinpointing improvement locations;
  • Staging the property;
  • Photographing the property;
  • Listing the property on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS);
  • Advertising real estate properties to prospective buyers;
  • Hosting property showings and open house events;
  • Drafting and preparing documents, such as offers, contracts and closing statements;
  • Communicating with appraisers, escrow companies, lenders and home inspectors.

A real estate agent may also represent buyers. When representing buyers, real estate agents may be responsible for the following: 

  • Coordinating open houses;
  • Arranging meetings with prospective buyers;
  • Interviewing buyers to understand their needs and wants;
  • Scheduling property showings;
  • Coordinating appraisals and inspections;
  • Negotiating property repair requests and offers;
  • Drafting and reviewing documents and contracts;
  • Guiding buyers through the closing process.

Average salary: 

The average base salary of a real estate agent in the United States is estimated to be $105,100. In Utah, the estimated annual salary of a real estate agent is $103,187. 

General Requirements: 

The requirements to obtain a real estate license varies state by state, however, the general requirements are the person be of good moral character, have some specified level of experience and specified education in real estate. The applicant must submit personal and professional information in their application, pass the state real estate license exam, undergo a background check, and pay a fee. The real estate license must be renewed pursuant to the state’s criteria.  

Utah’s licensing requirement for real estate agents:

In Utah, the state requires the following for a person to be eligible to obtain a real estate license: 

  1. “The division shall determine whether an applicant with a criminal history qualifies for licensure . . .
  2. The division, with the concurrence of the commission, shall require and pass upon proof necessary to determine the honesty, integrity, truthfulness, reputation, and competency of each applicant for an initial license or for renewal of an existing license . . .
  3. Require an applicant for an associate broker or a principal broker license to complete a division-approved educational program consisting of not less than 120 hours, as designated by rule the commission makes in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, with the concurrence of the division . . .
  4. Shall require an applicant to pass an examination approved by the commission covering:
    1. the fundamentals of the English language;
    2. the fundamentals of arithmetic;
    3. the fundamentals of bookkeeping;
    4. the fundamentals of real estate principles and practices;
    5. this chapter;
    6. the rules established by the commission with the concurrence of the division; and
    7. any other aspect of Utah real estate license law considered appropriate . . .
  5. Three years’ full-time experience as a sales agent or its equivalent is required before an applicant may apply for, and secure a principal broker or associate broker license in this state . . .”- Utah Code Ann. § 61-2f-203 (West)

Recommended Action:

If you are interested in obtaining a real estate license, it is best to consult with the state’s guidelines. If you do have a felony conviction, always remember to be open and transparent on the application, as lying can reduce your chances of obtaining the license. 

So what do you think about this blog post about whether a felon can become a real estate agent in Utah and the requirements for the license?  Have you or someone you know been in that situation?  What was that experience like and how did they deal with it?   Please tell us in the comments below.

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